Set your goals high but not your expectations. ~Dove

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Holiday Shopping

I really do like shopping during the holidays.  But shopping with crazy shoppers?  No thanks.

This year I did most of my holiday shopping online.  Particularly through Amazon.  I tried to buy locally, when possible, and when the price fit my budget.  But unfortunately most of the items that I purchased online were a lot cheaper, and I was able to get free shipping.  How can you pass up free shipping?

With a lot of online shopping, comes a lot of packaging.  I'm trying to re purpose a lot of the boxes we are getting.  Thankfully, some shipments are coming in bags, so I'm not left with huge, over sized boxes. 

There have been a few days where my family would bundle up and trek out to the local stores.  It was nice to be out for the short period, enjoy the festive decorations and also let the kid enjoy shopping too.  He does enjoy it, believe it or not.  Although, I'm beginning to wonder if he enjoys the small treat he gets early in the day: Munchkins =)

Running outside Stonewall Kitchen

So we're officially finished our shopping.  Crazy, I know.  We have a few more presents to wrap, then we can sit back and enjoy the holidays. 

Have you gotten into the Christmas spirit yet?  Or are you dragging your feet with the holidays?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Introducing Santa

My son is just shy of turning 25 months old.  He really doesn't remember what Christmas was like last year.  We didn't go crazy over Christmas last year either.  It was a simple day for us and he had a blast with the wrapping paper and boxes.  This year, it's a little different.

He has learned what presents are and has quickly learned Santa likes to give presents too.  But as we talk more about Santa and his reindeer, my son grows a little skeptical about who Santa really is.  I tell him that Santa will come into the house one night, while we're all sleeping, and he'll leave presents for us.  Would you like that? No, he replies.  He would love to receive presents from Santa, but why at night while we're asleep?  I can see it in his face that there is something weird about a strange man entering our house in the middle of the night.  Why would Mommy & Daddy allow that to happen?  He's not asking this, but I can see these types of questions swirling that 2 year old brain of his.

I'm trying to keep the story simple, he's only 2 years old.  But I can see I'm going to have some tough questions ahead of me.

We attempted visiting Santa in the mall, and my son enjoyed saying HI and giving Santa a high-five.  But that was it.  The picture had to be taken as a family photo, and still, my son was a little weary of the man next to him.  We left the mall with a small present from Santa: a coloring book and crayons.  That was enough to make my sons day, and it turned out being the conversation he had with us.  All day long.

This year, Santa is going to bring lots of gifts for my son, and I'm concerned Santa may have done too much.  But I suppose there is a different magic in the air when you're with a 2 year old, and everything seems new again.

Christmas lights seem brighter, the Christmas tree smells more pine-y, and snow globes look more sparkly.  Maybe Santa has the right idea and spoiling a 2 year old is okay, especially when the idea of Santa seems so special and magical.  How can Santa not overdo the presents for a 2 year old!

How have you introduced Santa to your kid(s)?  What sort of questions did they have for you?

Monday, December 13, 2010

French Vanilla Soap - by Jenness Farm

I'm in the middle of using the French Vanilla soap made by Jenness Farm.  I like this soap, a lot.  However, I don't think this soap is suited for the dryer winter months.  Although, I do not feel the need for lotion, which I like!  But my arms could use the extra moisturizer. 

The bar lathers very quickly and I'm able to suds up quickly.  While rinsing, I am left feeling squeeky clean, yet not feel like my skin is puckering dry.  The fragrance is not as strong as I had imagined.  In fact, I think I've grown immune to the scent and barely smell it now.  So it's nice not to feel overwhelmed with vanilla since I'm not particularly a fan of vanilla.

On a scale of 1 to 5 Bubbles, I'd rate French Vanilla a 4.5.... blub blub blub blub =)

Aubrey Organics - Shampoo & Conditioner

I recently purchased organic shampoo and conditioner by Aubrey Organics.  I have been using Aubrey's moisturizer and serum for my face, and have not been disappointed.  The winter months are approaching and I've noticed I need to change shampoos.  So I decided to splurge and pick up the GPB Shampoo and Conditioner.

As with any new product, I immediately feel the benefits on my hair.  Softer, lighter, smoother.  I'm looking forward to seeing the long term benefits.  As with most organic shampoos, there isn't much 'suds' when washing my hair.  Realistically I don't need to use a lot of shampoo, but I'm finding that because I have a lot of hair, I need to use more shampoo just to cover my head.  However, I'm left with the incredible aloe scent that makes up this Glycogen Protein Balancing Shampoo & Conditioner.  It reminds me of the warm summer days that are 6 months away.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I don't consider myself a light sleeper, however, if I get woken up I have a hard time falling back to sleep. 

My son has been waking up lately, and usually my husband toggles upstairs to unwind the blanket from the kids body and reposition it down.  Within minutes the two of them are back into the respective beds and I'm left there wide awake.

Did you know we are geese in our home?  Or at least just one goose?  That's what I listened to while laying awake at least 3 hours last night.  I was awake from 1:30-4am.  At least the last time I looked at the clock it was 4am. 

I refuse to get out of bed and I try to keep my breathing still.  Slow deep breaths help my mind, and heart, relax.  Sometimes it helps me drift back to sleep.  But other times, that silly goose wakes me again!  Do I dare tell my husband he snores like a goose?  I think about waking him, and instead I try to move the covers away from him.  Just enough to stir him into the other direction.

Nothing seems to be working.  So I quickly float up to our spare room and hunker down into the cool sheets of the empty bed.  Immediately I feel better, but I know it will be a while before I actually fall asleep.

I do fall asleep but I don't remember how long it took me.  I realize my husband will be wondering why my alarm is going off, and I'm not there.  Shortly after I have this thought, I hear footsteps down stairs.  He's looking for me.  I know my alarm has gone off and it'll be a matter of minutes until he realizes I've relocated myself. 

Of course he thinks I'm mad at him for something he must have done.  I'm too tired to give explanations so I just say that I needed to sleep.  He's now really confused and leaves me to take a shower.

Our son hears his Daddy in the bathroom while showering and he sits in his crib in the room next to me.  Daddy... Daddy... Daddy... He's saying it softly in a sleepy voice.  He becomes quieter and eventually he stops.  Figuring he fell back to sleep, I make my way back downstairs to shower and prepare for our day.  I need to somehow find the energy to move forward, when all I want to do is sleep another five minutes.

Maybe I can catch up on some sleep later tonight.  Maybe I can go to bed early?  Unless the kid wakes us up again because he's gotten himself twisted in his blanket... Only one could hope he'll figure it out on his own.

Until then, I collect our lunch, dress my boy in his snow boots, coat, hat, and mittens, and shuffle out the front door.  The cool, 10 degree, December air immediately wakes me up.  Suddenly I have an extra bounce in my step.  I hold my sons mittened hand and we walk down the steps together.  He points to the birds and talks about the sky.  His energy somehow will make me get through my day.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Star

We picked our Christmas tree this year and it wasn't from a field where we had to cut it down ourselves.  I would have preferred that.  Instead, I made the compromise with my husband and agreed to buy a tree pre-cut.  Except we didn't go to the local store to buy one, we ventured to our local greenhouse and picked one there.

I know they were more expensive than what we would have paid if we were to cut our own, but I felt I was helping support our local community.  And they even gave us a 4.5 inch poinsettia plant.  All-right! (raises hand with a whoop)

We loaded the tree into the car and the three of us buckled up and headed home.  We were eager to start decorating, or trimming.  I grew up decorating, while others know it as trimming.  Either way, the job gets done and you can feel the festivities creep into your home.

We let our 2 year old son help decorate the tree by being part of the family train.  My husband would unwrap the ornaments, hand them to our son, then he'd walk them over to me.  He was careful to hold onto the hook or string.  And he was very careful.  Although he was also careful enough to examine each piece.  He grew tired of the decorating because his real excitement was for The Star.  He didn't understand that we waited to put The Star on top of the tree at the end.  He wanted to do it first.  But we wanted him to know that it was just as special as he had wanted it to be and we'd let him put The Star on at the very end. 

The Star eventually made it to the top of our tree.  It made his heart sing.  Afterwards, the three of us took a step back to admire our Christmas tree.  And then we made a family hug together.  My son was living in the moment and kept saying Again... Again... So there we were, giving a group hug repeatedly in our living room in front of our Christmas tree.  I'm sure if there were any neighbors walking their dog outside, they would have wondered what the heck we were doing.  But it was a moment that will last in my mind about our Christmas this year, and it's a reminder about what's important to me.

While The Star makes my sons eyes twinkle, I will remember the warmth from the simplicity while adding a decoration that I have taken for granted.  The holidays can be just another day to some, but not in the eyes of a child.  There is just too much magic in the air, you cannot ignore its purity.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


As the holidays are quickly approaching, I'm finding myself trying to slow down the holiday buzz.  The holidays have crept through the radio with songs, into the tv commercials, onto drive-thru coffee cups, and of course inside the stores. 

Today is the first of December and I am not ready to take off my turkey themed table cloth.  Yet, I wish I had bought my Christmas tree yesterday.  I'm eager to share the holiday cheer with my son but I don't want to overload him with the experience either.  We'll get there, but I'm dragging my feet on decorating the house.

I'm meddling with a few ideas on how to keep traditions alive and would also like to start new traditions.  I'm feeling overwhelmed with the idea of traditions and, really, wish I could do it all.  Maybe that's why I'm hesitant about diving in head first. 

I feel like there's not a lot of time for the holidays.  As fast as they come, they're gone too quickly.  We need to make time to enjoy a hot cup of coco and soak in the holiday cheer.  There's always something to be greatful for and it would make for a great advent calendar to pick one word that describes what we're greatful for, today.

Today is December first, and after visiting my doctor for a physical, I am greatful for my health.

I hear that.

I hear that he says to me.  We are outside and I point out to him that it is a airplane and I hear it too.  He says Airplane and looks up in the sky to find it.  Eventually he points and shows me where it is.

I hear that he says to me.  We are standing in line at a small convenience store.  We hear ding dong, ding dong.  He doesn't know what's making that noise.  I point to the door and explain the door makes that noise every time the door is opened.  He's fascinated with this explanation and watches each time another person opens the door.

I hear that he says to me.  We are in the parking lot walking into the grocery store.  I tell him that sound is a car's horn honking because someone is locking their doors.  Honk Honk.  He gazes around the parking lot looking for the particular car making the noise.

I hear that he says to me.  We are inside our house, sitting in the kitchen eating a snack.  I hear it too and tell him that sound is the heat rattling through the vents and the furnace downstairs.  This seems a little complicated for him but he looks like he's pondering the explanation and doesn't ask anthing again.


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